Categories
Carp Coarse Jack and Terry

Miniature Surprise!

Welcome to another JT Carpers blog, this week we go over a short session myself and Jack had whilst away with our families for the bank holiday weekend last month. 

So, as I was already on holiday with my family at Waldegraves Holiday Park on Mersea Island, Jack and his family joined us for the weekend, obviously with a few lakes on site, a small slot for fishing was bargained for and we were in our element. 

So, on the Monday myself and Jack went up to the lakes at sunrise with the plan being that our wonderful partners would then bring food and children later in the day so we could all have a little family picnic whilst trying to entertain the kids with some fishing. 

Our main target for the day was to use a whip to fish for the silver fish in the lake to try and keep the action as thick and fast as possible to keep the children’s attention on the fishing. With a few hours spare before they arrived, we decided to get some rods out for the carp whilst setting up the poles for later, clearly not for our own benefit of course. 

With constant and real fun action on the whips we landed ourselves some lovely fish from Roach, Perch, a small cool looking Carp and finally the best of all, a brand-new P.B for myself in this absolute unit of a Gudgeon! 

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With this being my first ever Gudgeon I was actually very happy, obviously I love catching carp and fishing for them specifically but I just love fishing all round so a new species is always cool. 

With the day continuing and us losing 3 carp on our carp rods (Honestly no idea what happened, these carp seem to be tricky!) we then hooked into a carp on the whip which unfortunately snapped the hook link straight away and really gave us some food for thought. 

After another carp taking the whip for a bend and snapping off, we decided to ditch the whips and float fish for the carp instead on our other rods. 

A short while later as we were packing up Jack was in on his newly configured float rod, a £1 rod he picked up some years ago was put to the test and luckily prevailed! We were introduced to this awesome little mirror carp and our only carp of the day. 

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So, that was the last fish of the day and Super Jack saved our blushes with the children once again by rescuing us with an awesome little carp, with plenty or laughs and memories made this is exactly what fishing is about! 

So once again, 

As always, 

Tight Lines & Wet Nets,            

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JTCarpers               

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jtcarpers 

Categories
Tom Baird

Midweek Blues

Afternoon fellow anglers, I hope you all had a great Christmas and you were happy with the fishy bits you received as presents. So, its that time between Christmas and New Year’s. The Turkey has finally run out and looking forward to a lovely joint of roast beef on New Year’s Day.

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I haven’t been fishing since last Wednesday. I know it has only been a week but it seems much longer and I was getting the itch to go. Last night we agreed it would be a family outing. But I found myself going on my own. Even though I love fishing with the kids and family, it was nice to hit the banks on my own and reflect on a busy and unusual year.

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I was in two minds whether to hit the river or go to a club lake. I thought I would check the river first to see how it was. To my surprise it was quite calm and a steady flow in a certain section. I spoke to some fellow anglers who were already battling the cold and felt it was going to be a good day.

I went up river to a nice spot and started to fish. I hit a nice pocket of Roach and pulled in 17 fish, not bad I thought. I also had a lovely Perch which was a nice treat on red maggots. What I did notice with the Roach, is that some had Black Spot. I thought it would be a good opportunity to explain what Black Spot is and how it ends up on a fish.

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Black Spot is a parasitic flatworm that appear as tiny black spots on the skin, fins and flesh of fish. There is no method of control to eliminate this problem. This organism does little harm to the fish. The main problem related with black-spot is the unsightly appearance it may cause.

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What is remarkable is the life cycle of the parasite which is quite complex. It starts when a fish-eating bird (Great Blue Heron, Kingfisher) eats an infected fish. The black spot or worms are released and grow to sexual maturity in the bird’s intestine.

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The adult worms pass eggs with the bird’s droppings. When the eggs reach water, they hatch into free-swimming organisms which then penetrate snails for further development. Finally, after leaving the snails they burrow into the skin of fish and form a cyst. The fish scales surround the cyst with black pigment that gives the disease its name. If an infected fish is consumed by a bird, the cycle starts again.

I hope you found that interesting or useful. Obviously if the fish is riddled with Black Spot, take as many pictures as possible and report it to the Environment Agency. They should then look to see how serious it is.

Until Next time, Tight Lines…….. Happy New Year…….

Categories
Tackle Reviews Tom Baird

Tackle Box Darent Valley Specialist Rod

Review

I was asked to test out this particular rod which is one of 10 in this range of Darent Valley. As an active angler I decided that I would test the rod with Carping and Float fishing. So, over the last four weeks that’s what I have done.

First let’s look at the design of the rod. When you first pick it up you notice it’s a very light rod. I like that its light, this makes it easier to carry if walking a River or equally a large Lake. The slim line length and the carbon black finish really sets the rod off in the sun. The Cork handle gives it a bit of class whilst fishing. I do like a cork handle. Its like fishing with history with you. Also, when you’re reeling in you have that soft but durable handle.

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The eyes go from 25 near the handle to 8 at the tip. The line moves freely and smoothly through the eyes. Just before the cork handle is a hook keeper, which allows ease when moving swims or location depending where you’re fishing.

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When transporting the rod, it folds well into two sections and comes with a rod sleeve, which has a Velcro strap near the reel area. I would like to see an extra strap at the top end of the sleeve to make it a bit more secure. 

The length is 11ft 9inches which is a good size for Carping and moving up and down a River. The 2.25lb test curve is powerful and still allows that amazing bend and play for the fish. The thought in the carbon technology in this rod really does show when landing that prize.

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So, the first test was Carping on one of my club waters. I used a bolt rig with a 4oz weight. The cast was good and I felt comfortable in the flex of the rod. After an hour I was in with a 7lb Common. It was a great play and the bend was good. It took me back a few years to when I caught my first Carp.

Next was the float test. Out came my Guru 0.14oz torpedo float, which goes far. There was a good flick on the cast and was fishing at about 6ft depth. I was fishing for Roach and they were coming out thick and fast. Again, a good curve in the rod and a great play bringing them in. I had 42 in total and the rod performed well with every fish.

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This rod is usually £74.99 on the Tackle Box website, but at the moment there is 20% off, making it just £59.99; an absolute bargain.

https://www.tacklebox.co.uk/rods-en/specialist/specialist-rods/tackle-box-darent-valley-11ft-9ins-2.25lb-specialist-rod.html

Categories
Tom Baird

A change of venue

Its that time of week again when you hear what I have been up to. So, today was planned last week to fish the Chelmer. This was due to the uncertainty of lockdown two and if we were allowed fishing. I wanted to get a river session in before the worst-case scenario happened.

I left home around 06:30 and popped into Tesco to pick up some tiger bread (mmmmm), as the father-in-law was making us a bacon, sausage and egg sandwiches. I then got on the lovely A12 where there had been an accident. Now I hope everyone was ok in the RTC which was northbound and I was going south, but why do people just gawk and not move. This had delayed my fishing so wasn’t happy.

Finally got to my spot on the Chelmer and to my horror, the spots I wanted were taken (1hr 10mins driving, instead of 40 mins). The other anglers looked happy and fair play to them I hope they caught. Time for a new plan. So, called my father-in-law and agreed we should fish our club water. So, back I went another 50 mins in the direction I had just came from. The joy of the A12 lol.

I arrived at our club water, which I thought was going to be busy, as we were waiting for the news if we can fish. Not a single soul was on the lake (wow). After staring into space for a while, I chose a swim and started to set up. The father-in-law arrived and went in the next swim up.

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I knew the water would probably be best for Roach, so float with red mags it was. After a few lovely Roach I decided to fish under a tree to see if anything else was about. Bang straight into the tree and my best float came off. I could have cried; the line was in the tree but the float was heading away from me. I even tried tying spare line around my net to get it back. It was gone, floating in the middle of the lake.

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Set up again it was and after sulking to myself I was back out and catching Roach. Every now and then I would look up and see my float heading further away. It then came to lunch time and the amazing wedge of bread full of all the bad stuff mmmmm yum.

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After eating my lunch, I looked up to reminisce on my float that left me and to my amazement the wind had pushed it to another swim opposite me. What luck, I reeled in and went to retrieve my float. Absolutely made up with getting it back whoop whoop.

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As we fished into the late afternoon the fishing were coming out one after another. It then came to that time when eventually have to pack up. Was a good day, 42 in total, shame it wasn’t a match lol.

Until next time, Tight Lines……

Coming soon the Essex Anglers Species Hunt.

Categories
Tom Baird

Tom & Bailey the Fish off

Hello fellow anglers. It has come to that stage where me and fellow blogger Bailey decided to have a fish off. It had been brewing for a few weeks and a lot of banter had been dished out (mainly from Bailey) lol.

We both agreed on a venue which was Newlands Hall near Chelmsford. We wanted to fish this location as we had heard a lot of different reviews and wanted to check it out for ourselves.

Arrived at the fishery at 0730. It was heavy rain, so thank god I remembered my brolly. I got my tackle together and headed to Moat lake. Had a walk round and decided to set up in swim 30. Swim 29 was also free, but swim 30 is in a nice corner of the lake with reeds and trees over hanging. I would say a fishy spot.

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Put a small bit of ground bait out and went for the Quiver. Had loads of knocks, but my boilies weren’t working so went to the trusted corn and still nothing. At 08:45 Bailey had graced me with his presence, I still had nothing. Maybe this was karma for taking the better swim.

After Bailey had finally set up his contraption of a chair (It was like an air fix kit and I really do believe glue was used at some point), he cast out. Within minutes the boy was in. My face must have been a picture. Within the first hour he must have had 5 Carp.

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So, I did what any angler would do at a time of deprivation. I ordered food. I called the Rig (The tackle shop and Café). I had a Bacon, Sausage, Egg and Mushroom French stick with red & brown. They even deliver to your swim (Heaven). I also ordered the top shot one too, as I’m not bitter about the whole experience.   

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Come 12ish still nothing. I had even used Bailey’s ground bait, corn and the rod. But they weren’t having any of it. I was starting to get a complex about the whole thing really. Maybe Bailey had popped down during the week and netted my swim area.

So, I reeled in and went for a walk around the fishery. On the other side of Moat Lake there was a memorial match on. It was great to see all the guys and girls remembering a fellow angler in this way. Then I had a walk over to Brook Lake and people were catching there, which made me feel even better.

Eventually I braved it and returned to my swim. There he was the Cheshire cat himself. He had done well during the day and he was on the 16th catch of the day. I then decided I cannot blank. I went to my trusted float rod (Mirage John Wilson) and Rovex reel. Put a float set up on and caught 6 Roach. Still a lovely fish, but know desperate times call for desperate measures.

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In all Bailey had 20 lovely Carp all between 3 – 5lbs all common, apart from one lovely mirror. Well done Bailey. You still owe me for the food, just saying lol.

Tight Lines all….

Categories
Tom Baird

Back on the River

On Saturday I attempted the River Chelmer again near Baddow Road. It’s a nice part of the river and this time my friend Jeff asked if he could bring his god son along to have ago at fishing for the first time. I was in two minds about going Saturday, as I knew the weather wasn’t going to be great and also didn’t want to put any stress on the fish, due to temperature change etc.

But I hand the bug to go fishing, so met Jeff and Josh at 08:00 sharp in the car park and set up the poles for the kids and got them fishing straight away. Well this was Josh’s first-time fishing ever, so wanted him to catch. Also wanted Harry to catch, as he loves this stretch.

Within 5 minutes, Josh was in with a Roach. What a great way to start fishing and catching most people’s first ever fish. Josh was so happy and was loving every second of it. Once Josh was back out fishing again, I set up a float rod for Jeff, as he hasn’t been fresh water fishing for years (now a sea angler).

Whilst I was sorting out my tackle box, as it was all quiet on the western front, Harry caught a lovely roach too. Thank god he wasn’t going to blank; I would have had a 7-year-old turning into teenager mode lol. With that I heard a splash coming from Jeff and Joshes direction. I could see they had caught a Tench, wow what a second fish to ever catch.

As they were bringing it in to the net, you guested it, it came off. The poor look on Josh’s face, he was excited and so sad at the same time. I was even a bit down about it and Harry was too. We explained that the one that gets away, will now be on your list to catch next time. Lesson learnt and back on with the fishing.

The rest of the day went very slowly and could see the kids were getting bored. Then the heavens opened up and any of you fellow anglers who were fishing around the Chelmsford area on Saturday know that it poured down. That’s when we decided to pack up and call it a day.

Josh and Harry were still happy with their catches, and me and Jeff, well we were just wet. Until next time guys. Have a safe one and tight lines.

Categories
Bailey Payne

Under the Chelmer

On the weekends I have been out doing some kayaking down some parts of the Chelmer (Sorry to those Fishing!), I thought I couldn’t have this opportunity without trying to look at some of the Fish, I spent a lot of my time just drifting along looking down in the River trying to spot some Fish, seeing many shoals of Roach along the way, some of a nice size!

Well, I decided to stick in my underwater camera and see what footage I could get of these Fish underwater, and see If I could see anything else lurking in the depths of the Chelmer!

Well, this first video I managed to find a big shoal of small roach and watched them for a while. I found it amazing how they weren’t scared of the kayak or camera at all, and I found it fascinating watching these Fish behave, in-fact I think they used the Kayak as a form of cover and protection.

This next video, the shoal I found wasn’t as big, however I think the Roach looked bigger than the previous shoal, and through the murky water you can see some of the Roach dart around, I think these bigger ones seemed a bit more timid in front of the camera and it was hard to keep the focus on them.

Looking back at this footage, I was really happy I was able to actually get some footage of the Roach in the Chelmer and it is a really positive sign to see so many young Roach and I’m sure there was a few other species mixed in too.

Categories
Bailey Payne

My River Roding Curse!

Today (Sat 4th July 2020), marked my first early start for a while, arriving at my club River for the first time this season at an early 8am. I decided to Fish a stretch I haven’t yet, haven’t even walked this stretch before. After rain last night and a bit during the week I was hopefuly I’d catch the River at the right time, and it looked good, still had a bit of colour and had good depth. The worrying thing about fishing a stretch of Essex River for the first time is how overgrown is it going to be, am I going to be able to Fish it?

The first spot I decided to Fish looked good, it was just the entry to a small weir pool, although I’m not sure how I’d manage to Fish the weir pool, I can Fish just before the River runs into it, there were some nice reeds so I thought it was worth a shot. I used my normal aim towards River Chub Fishing, blended bread in a cage feeder with breadflake on the hook. My instincts were repaid quickly, missing a very soft bite after a few minutes, I rebaited, recast and waited with anticpation. However, it went quiet for a bit. Always in these moments you wonder if you lost the chance and should move on, that is until a few little knocks, which eventually turned into a forceful bite came along, after a good little scrap I managed to land the featured Chub, no record breaker, but a beautiful condition Fish one I was very happy to catch.

Now, my River Roding curse came back, It seems I am only ever able to catch one Fish from this River each session, I’m happy I don’t blank, but would love to be able to get a few more! My task now was to try and break my curse! I walked down and found some amazing looking swims, which must have been home to a few Chub

But frustratingly, this is where it ended for me, I had a few more knocks, and missed another bite which still baffles me when I think about it! However, for a quick morning session, all I was looking for was to catch, but, my curse continues…

Categories
Bailey Payne

River Wid – Unexpected Catches

At the end of my previous post “Exploration of the Wid”, I wondered what different species I could catch from the Wid and the size of them. A few trips will be crammed into this post, as I done some quick evening sessions with different setups.

Tactic #1 – Bread Flake

My first tactic is what I think is the best way to catch Chub, Bread. Buying a cheap loaf of Bread from Asda for 60p was all I needed for this session. I saved 2/3 slices for hookbait and the rest got some treatment from the blender to create some liquidised bread. I used a simple link ledger rig and decided to hand feed the balls of bread. The first spot I wanted to fish had some dog walkers sitting by it, so decided just to fish close by ready to jump in to claim the spot when they left. The first spot, wasn’t very deep, so didn’t expect any monsters, although while on my walks I did spot some maybe half a pound Chub which I thought could provide some good sport. It didn’t take long before I was getting notifications, although looking back, I think this was the sheer amount of small fish pecking at the bread flake, eventually, a Chublet managed to get in before the smaller fish and take the bread. This fish was only small, but was a good way to spend the time while waiting for the dog walkers to move on. Finally being able to get to the spot I had my eyes on, I had to decide what feature to fish first, it had a lovely over hanging tree and a bit of an undercut bank so was spoiled for choice! I first tried the over hanging tree, and weirdly the pecks from the small fish had stopped, but after a while and only a missed bite I decided to try the undercut bank and from a bit of luck I managed to drop the bread flake on top of a Chub’s nose, and he took it on the drop, providing the best fish I’ve caught from this stretch of the Wid on date of posting. This fish is the featured image Fish.

I then moved to another spot I saw which looked fantastic, as the River was bending and loads of reeds. I chose to stay in this spot a bit longer to see the evening out. It provided me two quick Chublets and then it went a bit quieter, and I was getting very weird bites, each one leading to being snagged. Eventually I managed to catch the culprit of these weird bites! It was a good size Crayfish! The Crayfish must have moved in after they got wind of the bed of blended bread on the bottom of the River, a first for me catching a Crayfish, the hook somehow managed to stay in its claw!

Tactic #2 – Float & Maggot

My next method is also as simple as it can get, I used one of my homemade Pole Floats, a number 10 shot and then a small hook length with single maggot on the hook. I planned on just Fishing the one spot to build up the fish feeding and just catch anything that came my way.

This method provided constant bites, and reminded me of my childhood Fishing experiences, just catching anything no matter what the Size, and it was a good hour or so, catching loads of Fish. I probably caught over 30 Minnows on this session, some of them with beautiful little colours, they’re a fish not targetted a lot, but do have some beauitful colours, my girlfriend also quite enjoyed catching them! The Species I was able to rack up using this method are; Minnows, Roach, Dace (My first and PB) and Rudd (Not photographed) – I was disappointed not to see any little Perch as I was expecting at least one. However, it was a good session with a lot of Fish.

Overall, I’ve loved the evening sessions I’ve had on this River and with it being so local and full of Fish it is definetly one I will see myself going back to often. And hopefully I can find some bigger Chub there too!

Categories
Bailey Payne

Exploration of the Wid

During the close season of the Rivers, I wanted to prepare and explore some new local Rivers I haven’t fished before to try and find maybe a hidden gem in possibly ignored Essex waterways. Now a lot of you may say, the River Wid isn’t an ignored Essex River, infact it’s quite well known. That’s true, at least the stretches around Writtle and Chelmsford are more well known. However, I was scouting a small stretch just behind Billericay. Which from what I found while searching the web, hasn’t got a lot of info about it.

On Arrival it was a typical small, overgrown Essex River, in the Essex spring time it wasn’t showing many of it’s secret spots to fish, unnaccesable from the lush foliage. It weaved around, fast shallow patches followed by slower, deeper looking areas. The River on my first walk around was quite clear and a bit lower than I expect it would normally be, but took this as a good opportunity to see some of the fish clearer.

Whenever I scout a new River I like to bring a few slices of bread, in the close season the Chub aren’t shy about showing themselves to enhale some free offerings of Asda special bread. Looking down on the River from a small seemingly unstable wooden bridge, I decided to drop a few flakes of bread to see if there was any interest. Straight away the offerings of bread were darting around from small Chub, Roach and I guess the odd Minnow grabbing and trying to quickly swim off before being chased by the rest of the pack. I thought it was a good sign to see so many juvenile Fish.

After a few minutes of feeding these, soon their bigger brothers started to show, after some confidence was built I assume. The Chub I was seeing weren’t monsters, however, they would definetly provide some good sport come the Rivers opening.

Walking the River only showed more the sheer amount of Chublets around 1-5oz, feeding them and seeing the frenzy of a flake of bread hitting the surface was good fun, and it was reassuring seeing a bigger Chub appear inbetween demanding a flake of bread from the surface. The stretch of the River I walked only had a handful of fishable swims, unless I decided to battle past the stinging nettles. I was confident from this walk I could get good sport from this River, from the smaller Chublets, but also the chance of some of the bigger Chub I saw.

A few questions were left from my visit of the Wid, How many big Chub was there? Could I battle through these Chublets for some bigger Fish? How many Species could I catch from here? The answers to these? Will be found out soon…